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Cemex UK and RSPB celebrate five year partnership

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World Cement,

Cemex UK and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) are celebrating five years of working together for nature. The partnership began in 2009 and involved the appointment of Dr Sam Tarrant, an internal RSPB advisor working within the company to consult with key stakeholders and facilitate biodiversity measures within Cemex UK.

In 2010 the partnership launched its Biodiversity Strategy with a commitment by Cemex to challenging biodiversity targets covering its UK operations. This included the creation and maintenance of 1000 hectares of priority habitats by 2020. 500 hectares have already been created through quarry restoration.

"In the last 5 years together we have achieved some outstanding results by developing real constructive business solutions that enhance the natural environment surrounding our operations, while we continue to supply building materials to our customers. The expertise in biodiversity of the RSPB is helping us to create a better future for the communities in which we operate. At Cemex, we are passionate about balancing the needs of the built environment with the natural environment," said Jesus Gonzalez, Country President of Cemex UK.

Employee engagement through the company’s volunteering scheme, Lendahand, has been another successful activity prompted by the partnership. Each employee is entitled to eight hours paid leave to volunteer for a charity. Over 2000 volunteering hours have been taken to date, many of them involving nature projects in local communities.

With the help of Sam Tarrant and advisors at the RSPB, employees and management are engaging in many biodiversity projects to enhance nature. These projects include helping to protect birds of prey such as peregrine falcons in quarries, ensuring there are sacrificial sand mounds for sand martins, supporting rare butterflies at Southam quarry by the planting of Kidney Vetch for the Small Blue butterfly, planting a flower rich hay meadow near Dove Holes quarry to save the near extinct Twite bird, providing bird boxes for House Sparrows throughout the country, but particularly in London where they have declined by 70%, and committing to a four year conservation project along the migratory path of the Turtle Dove.

“We are committed to increasing the amount of wildlife-rich habitat in our countryside and towns, and that is why this partnership is so important to us,” added Mike Clarke, RSPB Chief Executive. “It is amazing to see a former quarry returned to nature and watch as birds, wild plants and insects take over. There are some real success stories from this partnership where beautiful nature reserves have been created from spent mineral sites. I think this is a perfect example of charities and business working together for the greater good.”

Adapted from press release by Rosalie Starling

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